Sunday, September 11, 2011

Notes Toward A Novel Of Love in a Dog Park, by Louis Bayard

"Notes Toward A Novel of Love in the Dog Park," by Louis Bayard, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November 2011.
My first thought was to describe this as experimetnal fiction, the catchall term we use for anything that doesn't follow the standard way of writing that has been used for hundreds of years. But actually Bayard could argue that he is using a very old form, the epistolary tale (some of the first novels in ENglish were comprised entirely of letters).

But this story isn't exactly made up of letters. As the title suggests it is notes for a novel, complete with earnest quotations from some writing manual. The question is how much of the scary plotting of the book's narrator is actually things the would'be novelist has done, or is planning to do.

Use passages from journal here. E.g. stripping skin from Ellen's face.

I'm still not sure of exactly what is real and unreal here, but it is a delightfully disturbing tale.

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